(This is a mirror site of my webpage karenjcarlisle.com)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Of Changes, Achieving Goals and Beating Procrastination.

Hello to you, Dear Reader.

Firstly, my apologies if you popped in to read my blog yesterday. I have decided I want to finish the manuscript for The Department of Curiosities by October – at the latest. This means I have to knuckle down and work more my manuscript. To achieve this goal, I had to make some hard decisions.

This leads to my second apology. I can only write so many words in a day, or a week. To achieve my writing goals, I need to write more of my story; this will mean less words for my blog. At this stage, I am planning to  provide you with two blog posts a week. I will be working around my day job, so this will most likely be a Wednesday/Thursday and Saturday/Sunday.

After a a few days of collecting my thoughts together, I had reached that point where I needed to start work on chapter 5. I faced yet another blank page. I choked. I wrote a couple of sentences, crossed them out and then rewrote them – almost word for word.

I find a blank page a very scary thing. Since the last time I wrote on the problem of blank pages and scene changes, I have read  actively on the subject. I then engaged anti-procrastination tactics.

  1. I spent a day creating a quick plot outline, from the many ideas that were bouncing around in my brain.

  2. Next I tried to order them in a more logical timeline (pushing some into chapter 6)

  3. I listed the clues and character background I wanted (or needed) to reveal in this chapter.

  4. I penciled notes into previous chapters, to give hints on some of the upcoming clues and characters, so they did not just plop in out of nowhere.

  5. I took a long shower . This usually ends up with lots of ideas and sentences spilling out of my head. (I really need to find a waterproof notebook or recording device.)

  6. Concentrated on creating a specific character before he began walking and talking in chapter 5

I managed only 550 words, so brought out the big guns.

7. I went to bed to get some sleep. Words started tormenting me. Within 20 minutes I was grabbing the notebook, I keep my the bedside table, and was scribbling down a few pages of ideas.  Any ideas… whatever came to me.

Today, I managed to add 1400 words to my tally on the previous day – though not on chapter 5. I had been concentrating on the character of the Big Bad - more commonly known as the antagonist.  I was resisting the urge to make him a short, snivelly and bald cliche.  In the end I wrote both his first and  final scenes in the story.

Having now filled out his character, weaknesses, background and motives, I am ready to plough on with chapter 5.

Manuscript Word Progress: 24% completed to at least first draft!

Revised Words: 
Total Words:  
At 1st draft only:

Of Changes, Achieving Goals and Beating Procrastination.

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